Hunt On For ‘Gangster’ Killer
Police have a suspect in the Arverne homicide last week in which a man, plagued by an AIDS rumor and described as a “hard core gangster,” was shot to death as he sat in his car with his two young sons.
The search is on for Corey Whitlock, 28, who police think opened fire on Carl Murray Jr., 35, as he sat on the corner of Beach 54 Street and Beach Channel Drive in his 2004 BMW last Wednesday evening.
Murray’s sons, ages 15 and 7, watched in horror as the gunman fired five rounds into the car. The older son drove his father – hit twice in the chest – to Peninsula Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Police say Whitlock and members of his family could now be in danger of a retaliatory strike. Meanwhile, new details surrounding the killing have emerged.
Sources said Murray was the enforcer for his father – a notorious community figure who is widely known as “Preacher.” Police and community sources said Preacher has long been associated with Far Rockaway’s criminal underground.
“Carl was Preacher’s muscle,” said a police source, who described Murray as a “hard core gangster.”
Records show Murray was arrested at least five times, most recently in 2003.
Police sources suggested that Murray’s killing was drug-related, but community sources said it was sparked by a persistent HIV/AIDS rumor that started earlier this year.
For several weeks in March, people called and came into the office of The Wave looking for a non-existent story that supposedly said he was infected with the disease and spreading it to women in the community. Murray, who eventually came to the office himself, maintained that he did not have the disease. An editor explained that The Wave would not be in the position to know his health status and assured him that no such story ever appeared in the paper. An item ran in the Beachcomber column addressing the situation at Murray’s request.
It remains unclear who was behind the rumor, but a relative said it spread like wildfire because Murray was “a popular guy” who “had a lot of women.” The relative asked to remain anonymous out of fear of becoming any more involved. “These dudes are playing for keeps out here,” the source said.
An NYPD command post was set up at the scene of the shooting, where a makeshift memorial for Murray quickly sprouted.
“There’s going to be more shooting here,” warned one resident.
Police maintained a heavy presence at the scene this week. They asked anyone with information to call the 101 Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 868-3432 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.